God sets the solitary in families: he brings out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
You will observe that in the margins these words are rendered, "God setteth the solitary in a house." The Hebrew word means literally a house, or a dwelling. place, and figuratively, a family or a race. Now, we find in all parts of Scripture, but especially in the Psalms, short but emphatic descriptions of what God does, which open to us with no common clearness what God is. From brief notices of the conduct, we derive some of the best apprehensions of the character of our Maker. Thus, the sentence which we have brought before you as our subject of discourse discloses what we may cull a love of companionship in God. When the garden of Eden had been enamelled with beauty, and Adam placed there as its tenant, the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helpmeet for him." It was thus at the very outset of the creature dispensation that God showed His purpose of associating beings, or bringing them into companionship, in place of allowing the solitary to continue the solitary. And whatever the period at which this spirit of companionship began to be developed, it is unquestionably one which may be traced in the whole course of God's dealings with mankind. We are not at liberty to doubt that it is by Divine appointment that men have been clustered into those various groups which constitute what we designate human society. This human society is nothing more than a system of mutual dependencies, which will net tolerate, for the most part, anything of solitariness. You see that the whole machinery of a kingdom would quickly come to a stand; yea, that an arrest would be put on all the business of life, and therefore very speedily on life itself, if there were a determination on the part of each individual to keep himself to himself, and to have nothing whatever to do with the surrounding mass of his fellows. There must be the interchange of benefits between man and man. Paul says to the Romans — "As we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." And if once you admit this doctrine of the "communion of saints," you are ready for the full understanding of "God setting the solitary in families." It proves that the very instant a man becomes converted and renewed, there is a bond of the very mightiest union established between himself and countless individuals in different sections of the earth. He is not shut out from the sweetness of domestic worship by the mountain and the forest which surround him, but, participating still in the relationships of brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, what shall be said of him, but that, in his loneliness and desertion, he vindicates the truth that "God setteth the solitary in families"?
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.